Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Let's Talk Money...

Wasn’t it ‘just’ yesterday that you wished friends and loved ones (and well, enemies also) a Happy New Year? A quarter in 2013 has ended!

What’s happened to our plans and goals for 2013? It’s the first week into the second quarter of the year, and except you have goals scheduled to start in specific months later in the year, you should be one-quarter ways into achieving your goals for the year.

Let’s talk finances briefly.

Did you plan to save towards tuition for your Masters program? Or towards becoming a landlord? How are you doing in this regard? Let’s do a quick performance review.

Say your target for the year is N960, 000. Assuming you are not expecting any lump credits from any other source, you should save N80, 000 every month to make up your target. By now, you should have N240, 000 in that savings account. If you have that amount, or even more, well done and keep it up!

If you do not have up to that amount though, you need to do a financial forensics to see where you are missing the mark. Were you too optimistic when you were planning? If you earn N120, 000 and are planning to save N80, 000, would that be possible? Are you the first child giving money to younger ones or extended family, have a car that needs to be maintained, had not made adjustment for contingencies e.t.c. These are things to factor in. You may have been VERY optimistic when making your plans, but your budget needs to be realistic. Not lazy, realistic.

It is important to work on this oversight so your plan becomes realizable. What should you do?
  • Expect the unexpected. Your car may break down; the TV may suddenly ‘come down with a cold’; someone in your family may fall ill. These bills need to be taken care of immediately. Your budget a should leave room for all these.
  • Aha! Those little bites. A quick lunch here, a quick lunch there. Suya here, suya there. Do a quick math, and find out how much this ‘little’ indulgence comes to
  • Impulse purchases! No more window-shopping – you just may walk out of the store with an item you didn't plan for; no more online browsing… (sad, I agree)
  • It may also help to have a separate bank account for savings.

What about image? Did you plan to improve the image you project to the world this year? How well are you doing? Quick reminder: the adage ‘the way you dress is the way you are addressed’ really is true. Imagine you are referred to a medical consultant. You enter into his office, and meet a scruffy-looking man with bad breathe, unkempt hair and a hole in his shoes. Would you want him to attend to you? Place your self in their shoes, and imagine what image you are presenting to the world, and if you will like you to attend to you. If you don’t want you attending to you looking like that, you need to put some more pressure on your desire to change.

Recall that adage ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’? It applies to your clothes also. You do not have to rob a bank to tush up your wardrobe. Purchasing one tasteful outfit every month is sufficient. You’ll be surprised that over time, you’d have built a tasteful wardrobe. And no, buying clothes is not a waste. It is an investment.

Whatever it is you had intended to work on this year-going to the gym regularly, loosing weight, getting an professional degree, meeting new people- hurry on up!

Don't forget to join me
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I'd love to know what you think of this post
Feel free to share them below ... Chizy K

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